Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Ruth 4:13 – “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.”
I have divided this verse into five wonderful portions: The Redemption; The Marriage; The Union; The Conception; The Fruit. There is an order and progression seen for each leads to the next event. Each of these reveals the Lord’s Provision and Purpose, here in this chapter it is seen in connection with Ruth but these same things are a picture of the Lord’s Purpose for our lives also. Jesus is our Boaz and we are His Ruth.
The Redemption: “So Boaz took Ruth,” The word “took” has several wonderful meanings!
The first meaning is “to buy” – This is her redemption. This is the beginning, it is the foundation, it is the basis for each wonderful blessing that follows. Boaz fulfilled his obligation as her “kinsman-redeemer,” and when we see this in connection with ourselves we see that we have been redeemed, and bought with a price (I Co 6:20; 7:23) and are no longer the servants of men. Jesus has fulfilled his obligation and satisfied God’s Law and God’s Justice fully and completely.
The second meaning for “took” is “to accept.” This is her espousal. Boaz can “accept” her into his household, she is his now. The espousal is made public and this “virtuous woman” (3:11) has been accepted by Boaz as the woman he will marry. This is a public declaration based upon his redemption and her acceptance of that redemption. The Apostle Paul has set before all who have been redeemed this next step that draws us closer in our relationship with our Lord. It is our espousal to Christ and Paul’s gospel will prepare us and present us as that “chaste virgin” (II Co 11:2), that “virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11; Prov 31). By faith we know and believe that we are now “accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:6). That word “accepted” comes from “charis” which is grace and it can mean “made for the pleasure of.” Brother A. S. Copley translates this as “made lovely” in the beloved. What a wonderful testimony to the full provision of grace in our lives!
The third meaning for “took” is “to take away; to take up or to seize.” This is Resurrection and Translation! This meaning points to something that occurs quickly, to a moment, to a trumpet, to a change, to a resurrection. Paul describes this as a mystery, saying that not all die but all will be changed, this “mortal must put on immortality.” (I Co 15:51-53). Later Paul describes this great hope for believes, a hope for those who have died and are waiting for resurrection and to those that are waiting for translation. He describes the force and power of that moment, the descent of Christ, the shout, the voice, the trumpet, the resurrection of the dead and those that are caught up (I Th 4:16-17). The word “took” which means to be “taken away; or “seized,” describes this event and the power of the Lord as he catches up His saints. This must take place before the wedding. Boaz “took” Ruth and he did so beginning with her redemption, going on to her acceptance of him and by him and concluding with the last meaning. How wonderfully this pictures the events that will take place in our lives!
The Marriage: “and she was his wife.” This is the Wedding! The bridegroom has taken a bride, Jesus spoke several times of a wedding, of a bride and bridegroom. He said: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29). In Matthew 25 Jesus spoke of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, and there in the midst of that teaching is a wonderful statement, “Behold the bridegroom cometh” (Mat 25:6). There will be a wedding! John describes the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9) and the testimony concerning the one who is the bride, he says “his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev 19:7)! Ruth did this all through the book of Ruth, until the work was finished and Boaz took and made her his wife. We do this, it is the work of grace in our lives that prepares us and helps us prepare our wedding garments. John describes her garments: “And to her was granted (this is grace) that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” (Rev 19:8). I can see in this description two garments, an outer garment that others can see and an inner garment that the Bridegroom sees. The outer garment is her sanctification: seen in the “fine linen clean (she is without spot or wrinkle – Eph 5:27) and white (radiant, magnificent – “changed into the same image from glory to glory” – II Co 3:18). The inner garment is her justification: it is the righteousness of Christ, who is “made unto us righteousness” (I Co 1:30) for we are the “righteousness of God in Him” (II Co 5:21). Her wedding garment is her beautiful testimony, for she though it is an outward garment, it reflects and inward beauty, for she is “all glorious within” (Ps 45:13-14).
The Union: “and when he went in unto her.” In this statement we have the marriage consummated. What this shows is the union of two, they have become one. Jesus spoke of this oneness. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one” (John 17:23) and Paul spoke of this oneness, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Co 6:17). Later he uses the marriage union to picture a great mystery, of Christ and His church. (Eph 5:30-32). Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones …” – That is one union. Then Paul writes: “they two shall be one flesh.” – That is deeper union. The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth pictures this deeper union, that of Christ and His Bride.
The Conception: “the Lord gave her conception.” In this statement we see the result of that union, and it is only through this union that the Lord can make Ruth fruitful. The conception comes from the Lord and from the union of these two. In Moab Ruth must have been barren; she had no children from her first marriage. It is not until she makes the choices she does and separates herself from Moab and steps out in faith that the possibility of fruitfulness can take place. And it is the Lord who makes her fruitful, it is how He shows His approval. I think that her conception from the Lord can picture the fruitfulness of our lives. There are so many ways that we can “conceive” and bring forth fruit. There is the fruit that Jesus says glorifies the Father, and is proof of discipleship. (John 15:8). Paul says that the provision for our being able to bring forth fruit comes from our relationship with Christ, it is Christ in resurrection and our relationship to him that will bring forth “fruit unto God.” (Rom 7:4) It is this fruit that is holy fruit (Rom 6:22); it is “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23); it is fruit of righteousness (Phil 1:11); it is full fruitfulness, 100-fold fruitfulness (Mark 4:8). The blessing is seen, the fruitfulness is seen and it all comes from “the Lord,” it is based on His grace!
The Fruit: “and she bare a son.” Here is the culmination of that conception, it is a son. It is the continuance of a Promise that began in the Garden of Eden. Down through the years, God has been fulfilling this promise, through the union of two individuals. It is seen in God’s promise to Adam and Eve, His promise to Abraham, His renewal of that promise to Abraham’s descendents. God keeps His promises! Boaz kept the promise he made to Ruth, to “do all that thou requirest” (Ruth 3:11) and to the witnesses present at her redemption: “to raise up the name of the dead” (Ruth 4:10). In a sense this is resurrection fruit, fruit of the new creation. This “son” is the continuance of God’s great promise: It is the promise of a Son, a Seed, a King. From this child will come forth David! From David will come forth Christ, the Great Kinsman-Redeemer!
Continued next issue